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Research Studies is a monthly compilation of research articles funded by AHRQ or authored by AHRQ researchers and recently published in journals or newsletters.
Results1 to 25 of 74 Research Studies Displayed
McBain RK, Cantor JH, Kofner A
Brief report: Medicaid expansion and growth in the workforce for autism spectrum disorder.
This study examined the role that state Medicaid expansion has played in utilization of child psychiatrists, board-certified behavioral analysts (BCBAs) and pediatricians for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Health workforce data from HRSA was used to examine workforce growth from 2008-2017. State Medicaid expansion was associated with a 9% increase in BCBAs per 100,000 children one year after enactment, and a 5% increase in child psychiatrists, but no association with growth in pediatrician utilization.
Citation: McBain RK, Cantor JH, Kofner A . Brief report: Medicaid expansion and growth in the workforce for autism spectrum disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 2022 Apr;52(4):1881-89. doi: 10.1007/s10803-021-05044-2..
Keywords: Children/Adolescents, Autism, Medicaid, Workforce, Behavioral Health
Michelson KA, Cushing AM, Bucholz EM
Association of county-level availability of pediatricians with emergency department visits.
This study examined whether children in counties with more pediatricians had fewer emergency department (ED) visits. The authors conducted a cross-sectional study of all ED visits among children younger than 18 years from 6 states. Each additional pediatrician per 1000 children was associated with a 13.7% decrease in ED visits in the state-adjusted model. In the full model however, there was no association. Other factors such as presence of an urgent care facility, high socioeconomic status, urban status and higher proportions of White race and nonpublic insurance were also associated with decreased ED visit rates.
Citation: Michelson KA, Cushing AM, Bucholz EM . Association of county-level availability of pediatricians with emergency department visits. Pediatr Emerg Care 2022 Feb;38(2):e953-e57. doi: 10.1097/pec.0000000000002502..
Keywords: Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), Emergency Department, Healthcare Utilization, Workforce, Provider: Physician, Rural Health
Zimmerman S, Carder P, Schwartz L
The imperative to reimagine assisted living.
Assisted living (AL) has existed in the United States for decades, evolving in response to older adults' need for supportive care and distaste for nursing homes and older models of congregate care. AL is state-regulated, provides at least 2 meals a day, around-the-clock supervision, and help with personal care, but is not licensed as a nursing home. This article presents the background regarding those tensions, as well as potential solutions that have been borne out, paving the path to a better future of assisted living.
Citation: Zimmerman S, Carder P, Schwartz L . The imperative to reimagine assisted living. J Am Med Dir Assoc 2022 Feb;23(2):225-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2021.12.004..
Keywords: Elderly, Long-Term Care, Healthcare Delivery, Workforce, Quality of Care, Quality of Life, Healthcare Costs
Hemler JR, Edwards ST, Valenzuela S
The effects of major disruptions on practice participation in facilitation during a primary care quality improvement initiative.
This study explored the relationship between disruptions in primary care practices and practice participation in facilitated quality improvement (QI). Using data from EvidenceNOW, findings showed that disruptions are prevalent in primary care, but practices can continue participating in QI interventions, particularly when supported by a facilitator.
Citation: Hemler JR, Edwards ST, Valenzuela S . The effects of major disruptions on practice participation in facilitation during a primary care quality improvement initiative. J Am Board Fam Med 2022 Jan-Feb;35(1):124-39. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2022.01.210205..
Keywords: Primary Care, Practice Improvement, Quality Improvement, Quality of Care, Workforce
Goodwin JS, Agrawal P, Li S
Growth of physicians and nurse practitioners practicing full time in nursing homes.
This retrospective cohort study examined the growth of physicians and nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) who work full time in nursing homes, and to assess resident and nursing home characteristics associated with receiving care from full-time providers. Researchers looked at a 20% national sample of Medicare data on long-term care residents in 2008 and 2018 and the physicians, NPs, and PAs who submitted charges for services rendered in nursing homes. Full-time nursing home providers increased from 26% in 2008 to 44.6% in 2017. The largest increase from 2008 to 2017 was in NPs with 1986 total in 2008 increasing 44.6% in 2017. Residents with an NP primary care provider were 23 times more likely to have a full-time provider. Residents who received care from both a physician and an NP or PA increased from 33.5% in 2008 to 62.5% in 2018. There was large variation in the percentage of residents with full-time providers, with 5.72% of residents in the bottom quintile of facilities to 91.4% in the top quintile.
Citation: Goodwin JS, Agrawal P, Li S . Growth of physicians and nurse practitioners practicing full time in nursing homes. J Am Med Dir Assoc 2021 Dec;22(12):2534-39.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2021.06.019..
Keywords: Nursing Homes, Long-Term Care, Provider: Clinician, Provider: Physician, Provider: Nurse, Workforce
Neprash HT, Zink A, Sheridan B
The effect of Medicaid expansion on Medicaid participation, payer mix, and labor supply in primary care.
Citation: Neprash HT, Zink A, Sheridan B . The effect of Medicaid expansion on Medicaid participation, payer mix, and labor supply in primary care. J Health Econ 2021 Dec;80:102541. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2021.102541..
Keywords: Medicare, Healthcare Utilization, Primary Care, Workforce, Health Insurance
Vranas KC, Golden SE, Mathews KS
The influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on ICU organization, care processes, and frontline clinician experiences: a qualitative study.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in unprecedented adjustments to intensive care unit (ICU) organization and care processes globally. The investigators examined if hospital emergency responses to the COVID-19 pandemic differed depending on hospital setting and explored which strategies worked well to mitigate strain as perceived by intensivists. The investigators concluded that their study demonstrated the importance of trust and transparency between frontline staff and hospital leadership as key components of effective emergency responses during public health crises.
Citation: Vranas KC, Golden SE, Mathews KS . The influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on ICU organization, care processes, and frontline clinician experiences: a qualitative study. Chest 2021 Nov;160(5):1714-28. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2021.05.041..
Keywords: COVID-19, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Critical Care, Healthcare Delivery, Workforce, Public Health
Kaderka R, Hild SJ, Bry VN, Kaderka R, Hild SJ, Bry VN, , Hild SJ, Bry VN
Wide-scale clinical implementation of knowledge-based planning: an investigation of workforce efficiency, need for post-automation refinement, and data-driven model maintenance.
Investigators sought to investigate the effect of automated knowledge-based planning (KBP) on real-world clinical workflow efficiency, to assess whether manual refinement of KBP plans improves plan quality across multiple disease sites, and to develop a data-driven method to periodically improve KBP automated planning routines. They found that KBP increased clinical efficiency by significantly reducing planning time. On average, human refinement offered minimal dose improvements over KBP-only plans.
Citation: Kaderka R, Hild SJ, Bry VN, Kaderka R, Hild SJ, Bry VN, , Hild SJ, Bry VN . Wide-scale clinical implementation of knowledge-based planning: an investigation of workforce efficiency, need for post-automation refinement, and data-driven model maintenance. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2021 Nov 1;111(3):705-15. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2021.06.028..
Keywords: Workforce, Implementation
Germack HD, Kandrack R, Martsolf GR
Relationship between rural hospital closures and the supply of nurse practitioners and certified registered nurse anesthetists.
This study sought to examine the extent to which rural hospital closures are associated with changes in the NP (nurse practitioner) and CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist) workforce. The authors used the Area Health Resources Files (AHRF) data from 2010-2017 to estimate the relationship between rural hospital closures and changes in the supply of NPs and CRNAs. They found 151 hospital closures among 1,544 rural counties. After controlling for local market characteristics, they did not find a significant relationship between hospital closure and the supply of NPs and CRNAs.
Citation: Germack HD, Kandrack R, Martsolf GR . Relationship between rural hospital closures and the supply of nurse practitioners and certified registered nurse anesthetists. Nurs Outlook 2021 Nov-Dec;69(6):945-52. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2021.05.005..
Keywords: Provider: Nurse, Workforce, Hospitals
Valbuena VSM, Obayemi JE, Purnell TS
Gender and racial disparities in the transplant surgery workforce.
This review explores trends in the United States (US) transplant surgery workforce with a focus on historical demographics, post-fellowship job market, and quality of life reported by transplant surgeons. Ongoing efforts to improve women and racial/ethnic minority representation in transplant surgery are highlighted in this paper. Future directions to create a transplant workforce that reflects the diversity of the US population are discussed.
AHRQ-funded; HS024600; HS000053.
Citation: Valbuena VSM, Obayemi JE, Purnell TS . Gender and racial disparities in the transplant surgery workforce. Curr Opin Organ Transplant 2021 Oct 1;26(5):560-66. doi: 10.1097/mot.0000000000000915..
Keywords: Workforce, Provider: Physician, Transplantation, Racial / Ethnic Minorities
Marchetti KA, Oerline M, Hollenbeck BK
Urology workforce changes and implications for prostate cancer care among Medicare enrollees.
The purpose of this study was to characterize national trends in urologist workforce, practice organization, and management of incident prostate cancer. The investigators characterized shifts in urologist membership from smaller, independent groups to larger, multispecialty or hospital-owned practices. They indicated that this trend coincided with higher utilization of observation and surgical treatment for prostate cancer.
Citation: Marchetti KA, Oerline M, Hollenbeck BK . Urology workforce changes and implications for prostate cancer care among Medicare enrollees. Urology 2021 Sep;155:77-82. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2020.12.051..
Keywords: Cancer: Prostate Cancer, Cancer, Workforce, Practice Patterns
Escarce JJ, Wozniak GD, Tsipas S
Effects of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion on the distribution of new general internists across states.
The objective of this study was to determine whether the Medicaid expansion influenced the states selected by physicians just completing graduate medical education for establishing their first practices. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia expanded Medicaid by the end of the study period. Findings showed that physicians in one specialty group, general internal medicine, were increasingly likely to locate in expansion states after the expansion. The Medicaid expansion influenced the practice location choices of men and international medical graduates in general internal medicine, while women and United States medical graduates did not alter their pre-expansion location patterns. States that opted not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act lost general internists to expansion states, potentially affecting access to care for all of their residents regardless of insurance coverage.
Citation: Escarce JJ, Wozniak GD, Tsipas S . Effects of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion on the distribution of new general internists across states. Med Care 2021 Jul;59(7):653-60. doi: 10.1097/mlr.0000000000001523..
Keywords: Medicaid, Health Insurance, Provider: Physician, Workforce
Measuring caregiver retention in nursing homes.
This study examined the retention of nursing home caregivers using a survey of nursing home administrators conducted in 2016 from 2,898 facilities. Survey data was matched with Nursing Home Compare and the Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reporting data. Four measures of retention were associated with each of three types for caregivers: nurse aids (NAs), registered nurses (RNs), and licensed practical nurses with six quality indicators. Retention rates at 5 years was shown to be low for all three of these caregiver types. Regression estimates showed some support for the theory that different measures of retention were more/less associated with quality. The 3- and 5-year retention measures had the strongest associations with quality of care.
Citation: Castle NG . Measuring caregiver retention in nursing homes. Gerontologist 2021 Jun 2;61(4):e118-e28. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnab012..
Keywords: Nursing Homes, Long-Term Care, Provider: Health Personnel, Workforce
Kandrack R, Barnes H, Martsolf GR
Nurse practitioner scope of practice regulations and nurse practitioner supply.
This study’s objective was to estimate associations between adopting full nurse practitioner (NP) scope of practice (SOP) and improved access to care. The authors used county-level data to estimate the association between adopting full NP SOP and NP supply in general, and in rural and health professional shortage area-designed counties specifically. They estimated positive associations, although the relationship was only statistically significant in health professional shortage areas.
Citation: Kandrack R, Barnes H, Martsolf GR . Nurse practitioner scope of practice regulations and nurse practitioner supply. Med Care Res Rev 2021 Jun;78(3):208-17. doi: 10.1177/1077558719888424..
Keywords: Provider: Nurse, Provider: Clinician, Workforce, Policy
Gettel CJ, Canavan ME, D'Onofrio G
Who provides what care? An analysis of clinical focus among the national emergency care workforce.
This study looked at the clinical focus of emergency department (ED) workers using the 2017 Medicare Public Use Files for clinicians receiving reimbursement for emergency care Evaluation & Management (E/M) services for Medicare fee-for-service Part B. Clinicians were categorized as EM physicians, non-EM physicians, and advanced practice providers (APPs). Of the 65,710 unique clinicians providing care, 59.4% were classified as EM physicians, 12.4% as non-EM physicians, and 28.5% as APPs. EM physicians have twice as much clinician median focus in comparison to EM physicians providing emergency care (92.8% vs 45.2) and APPs are focused 100%.
Citation: Gettel CJ, Canavan ME, D'Onofrio G . Who provides what care? An analysis of clinical focus among the national emergency care workforce. Am J Emerg Med 2021 Apr;42:228-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2020.11.069..
Keywords: Emergency Department, Workforce, Provider: Physician, Provider: Clinician, Provider, Medicare
Ingraham AM, Chaffee SM, Ayturk MD
Gaps in emergency general surgery coverage in the United States.
Researchers sought to measure gaps in round-the-clock emergency general surgery (EGS) care via a survey of all US adult acute care general hospitals with an emergency room, at least 1 operating room. They found that 17.1% of hospitals responding were unable to always provide round-the-clock EGS care. Rural location, smaller bed size, and non-teaching status were associated with lack of round-the-clock care. Inconsistent surgeon coverage was the primary reason for this lack. However, lack of a tiered system for booking emergency cases, no anesthesia availability overnight, and no stipend for EGS call were also associated with the inability to provide round-the-clock EGS care.
AHRQ-funded; HS025224; HS022694.
Citation: Ingraham AM, Chaffee SM, Ayturk MD . Gaps in emergency general surgery coverage in the United States. Ann Surg Open 2021 Mar;2(1). doi: 10.1097/as9.0000000000000043..
Keywords: Surgery, Emergency Department, Hospitals, Access to Care, Workforce
Luo Q, Dor A, Pittman P
Optimal staffing in community health centers to improve quality of care.
The authors explored optimal workforce configurations in the production of care quality in community health centers (CHCs), accounting for interactions among occupational categories, as well as contributions to the volume of services. By linking the Uniform Data System with Internal Revenue Service nonprofit tax return data, they found that primary care physicians and advanced practice clinicians achieved similar quality outcomes. They recommended that CHCs optimize their workforce configuration to improve quality with further hiring of advanced practice clinicians as a cost-effective investment for CHCs.
Citation: Luo Q, Dor A, Pittman P . Optimal staffing in community health centers to improve quality of care. Health Serv Res 2021 Feb;56(1):112-22. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13566..
Keywords: Community-Based Practice, Workforce, Quality of Care
Wilson BL, Butler RJ
Identifying optimal labor and delivery nurse staffing: the case of cesarean births and nursing hours.
Numerous studies have identified a relationship between nurse staffing and adverse patient outcomes in medical / surgical patient populations. However, little is known about the impact of labor and delivery (L&D) nurse staffing and adverse birth outcomes, such as unintended cesarean delivery, in low-risk term-gestation women. In this study the investigators examined nurse staffing patterns on the likelihood of cesarean sections (C-sections) among low- risk, full gestation births and provided a testing framework to distinguish optimal from ineffective levels of nurse staffing.
Citation: Wilson BL, Butler RJ . Identifying optimal labor and delivery nurse staffing: the case of cesarean births and nursing hours. Nurs Outlook 2021 Jan-Feb;69(1):84-95. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2020.07.003..
Keywords: Provider: Nurse, Provider, Workforce, Labor and Delivery, Pregnancy, Quality of Care, Risk, Women
Cohen C, Baird M, Koirola N
The surgical and anesthesia workforce and provision of surgical services in rural communities: a mixed-methods examination.
This mixed-methods study described the distribution of the surgical and anesthesia workforce and qualitatively explored how such workforce and other factors influenced rural hospitals' provision of surgical services. Using American Hospital Association survey data, the researchers found that within rural counties, 55.1% had no surgeon, 81.2% had no anesthesiologist, and 58.1% had no Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. While rural hospitals reported meeting community needs for elective and noncomplex surgeries, these hospitals continued to face significant challenges providing subspecialty surgeries, emergency surgeries, and 24-hour obstetrical services.
Citation: Cohen C, Baird M, Koirola N . The surgical and anesthesia workforce and provision of surgical services in rural communities: a mixed-methods examination. J Rural Health 2021 Jan;37(1):45-54. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12417..
Keywords: Rural Health, Access to Care, Surgery, Workforce, Provider: Physician, Provider: Nurse, Provider, Hospitals
Campbell AM, Mattoni M, Yefimov MN
Improving cognitive workload in radiation therapists: a pilot EEG neurofeedback study.
The authors employed an accelerated alpha-theta neurofeedback (NF) protocol to test if 12 radiation therapy therapists (RTTs) could learn the protocol and exhibit behavior and brain performance-related benefits. Following the 3-week protocol, participants showed a decrease in subjective cognitive workload and a decrease in response time during a performance task, as well as a decrease in desynchrony of the alpha electroencephalogram band. The authors concluded that the RTTs successfully learned the protocol and improved in perceived cognitive workload following 3 weeks of neurofeedback.
Citation: Campbell AM, Mattoni M, Yefimov MN . Improving cognitive workload in radiation therapists: a pilot EEG neurofeedback study. Front Psychol 2020 Dec 3;11:571739. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.571739..
Keywords: Provider, Burnout, Stress, Workforce
Shubeck SP, Newman EA, Vitous CA
Hiring practices of US academic surgery departments-challenges and opportunities for more inclusive hiring.
To increase workforce diversity among academic medical centers, the Association of American Medical Colleges recommends multiple inclusive strategies for evaluating and hiring candidates. The objective of this study was to determine (1) usual and inclusive hiring practices used among academic surgery departments and (2) the barriers to utilization of inclusive hiring practices. The investigators concluded that many chairs rely heavily on internal hires or trusted networks, which may limit both demographic and cognitive diversity.
Citation: Shubeck SP, Newman EA, Vitous CA . Hiring practices of US academic surgery departments-challenges and opportunities for more inclusive hiring. J Surg Res 2020 Oct;254:23-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2020.03.054..
Keywords: Surgery, Provider: Physician, Provider, Workforce, Hospitals
de Cordova PB, Jones T, Riman KA
Staffing trends in magnet and non-magnet hospitals after state legislation.
This study examined whether there was a difference in staffing of registered nurses in Magnet and non-Magnet hospitals using unit-level, publicly available data in New Jersey. This secondary analysis of longitudinal RN staffing data was conducted using 64 hospitals representing 12 nursing specialties during the time span of 2008 to 2015. There was a slight increase in staffing at Magnet hospitals compared to non-Magnet hospitals, but RN staffing improved in all hospitals. No meaningful difference in staffing for all 12 specialties was found.
Citation: de Cordova PB, Jones T, Riman KA . Staffing trends in magnet and non-magnet hospitals after state legislation. J Nurs Care Qual 2020 Oct/Dec;35(4):323-28. doi: 10.1097/ncq.0000000000000479..
Keywords: Hospitals, Policy, Healthcare Delivery, Workforce
Womack DM, Hribar MR, Steege LM
Registered nurse strain detection using ambient data: an exploratory study of underutilized operational data streams in the hospital workplace.
Registered nurses (RNs) regularly adapt their work to ever-changing situations but routine adaptation transforms into RN strain when service demand exceeds staff capacity and patients are at risk of missed or delayed care. The purpose of this study was to assess the utility of ambient workplace data, defined as time-stamped transaction records and log file data produced by non-electronic health record care delivery tools (e.g., nurse call systems, communication devices), as an information channel for automated sensing of RN strain.
Citation: Womack DM, Hribar MR, Steege LM . Registered nurse strain detection using ambient data: an exploratory study of underutilized operational data streams in the hospital workplace. Appl Clin Inform 2020 Aug;11(4):598-605. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1715829..
Keywords: Provider: Nurse, Provider, Health Information Technology (HIT), Workforce, Burnout
Islam N, Rogers ES, Schoenthaler EA
A cross-cutting workforce solution for implementing community-clinical linkage models.
This article discusses the use of employing community health workers (CHWs) in primary care practices to create community-clinical linkage models to address the underlying role of social determinants of health and achieve health equity. Federal initiatives such as EvidenceNOW and Million Hearts have supported a renewed focus on small, independently owned practices. These initiatives emphasize the role of practice facilitation. The authors drew from the literature and propose that small, independently owned practices strategically employ practice facilitators to help integrate CHWs into their primary care teams. These facilitators help provide a “population health management” infrastructure to develop effective partnerships. Several ways that practice facilitation can help do this is outlined in this paper.
Citation: Islam N, Rogers ES, Schoenthaler EA . A cross-cutting workforce solution for implementing community-clinical linkage models. Am J Public Health 2020 Jul;110(S2):S191-s93. doi: 10.2105/ajph.2020.305692..
Keywords: Community-Based Practice, Primary Care, Workforce, Primary Care: Models of Care, Healthcare Delivery
Poghosyan L, Ghaffari A, Liu J
Organizational support for nurse practitioners in primary care and workforce outcomes.
Lack of organizational support in healthcare settings has been linked to high levels of clinician stress, burnout, and job dissatisfaction. Little research exists on organizational support for nurse practitioners. In this study, the researchers investigated the relationship between organizational support and nurse practitioner outcomes, including job satisfaction, intent to leave, and quality of care. The investigators concluded that nurse practitioners from primary care practices with higher levels of organizational support were more likely to be satisfied with their jobs, have less intent to leave their jobs, and report better quality of care.
Citation: Poghosyan L, Ghaffari A, Liu J . Organizational support for nurse practitioners in primary care and workforce outcomes. Nurs Res 2020 Jul/Aug;69(4):280-88. doi: 10.1097/nnr.0000000000000425..
Keywords: Provider: Clinician, Provider, Primary Care, Burnout, Stress, Workforce, Organizational Change